Jason Knight
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  • Michigan
  • United States
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Jason Knight's Discussions

Dean River Boat Design

Started Oct 3, 2018

Design Idea
10 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jason Knight Mar 15, 2016.

Z Drifter Pram Update
22 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jason Knight Apr 6, 2014.


Hello from the Great Lakes State

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Profile Information

St. Clair Shores - Michigan
About Me:
Retail Fixture/Display and Graphic Designer

Built my first wooden drifter in 2009... having a great time fishing and boating on new rivers here in northern Michigan. Looking forward to fine tuning my boat and fishing new water.
Boats I own:
17x52 McKenzie

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Jason Knight's Blog

Weekend Boat Progress (5.31.09)

Hey everyone,

Thought I would post a few pics taken this weekend.

I managed to get the floorboards fit using the barrel bolt method. So basically each floor section can be popped out by simply releasing 2 barrel bolts. I built a mount for the barrel section into the frame itself, and then mounted the receiver section on the bottom of the floor slat stringer. You can see it better in the pics. I still need to sand out the floor boards and get them oiled. Eventually I would like… Continue

Posted on June 1, 2009 at 5:00am — 6 Comments

New Progress Report 5.11.09

Boat progress from the past week.

Thought I would post some progress this morning... took a few pics yesterday as I was cleaning up... Probably would have moved a little further yesterday, but it was Mother's day so I called it early.

The horns are on the kneebrace and rough sanded to take the hard edges off.

The flyline deck is fit and about ready to be varnished.

After carefully measuring and re-measuring I drilled the frames to accept the seat pipes for the… Continue

Posted on May 11, 2009 at 6:33am — 6 Comments

Progress Report 5.5.09

Been mixing steelhead trips in with my boat building so progress has slowed a bit.

During the next few weeks I plan to get after it pretty good. We saw lots of boats on the river producing fish - which motivated me to get to work!

Here are a few pics of the latest work done on the boat. I have the transom and stem cut to the shape I want.

The casting deck, horns and knee board have all been fit into place. I used a slightly different approach to how the fly line deck goes… Continue

Posted on May 5, 2009 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

Progress Report 4.11.09

Happy Monday fellas...

Well had some time the past week to work on the boat.

Finally turned her over and started working on the rails and stem/transom angles.

As of the now the rails are glued on with the holes drilled for the bolts to pass through... I will install the bolts after the rails are varnished. I pre-varnished the one side of the interior rails because it seemed impossible to get at the area after it was attached. I did not want to varnish before assembly… Continue

Posted on April 13, 2009 at 6:30am

Progress Report 3.29.09

Hey fellas,

Well I am finally done with the bottom of the boat! I am happy with the results and ready to turn the boat over...

I installed the the false stem and chine caps. The chine caps proved to be a bit of a challenge as I am working alone... but after some negotiating they went on without too much trouble...

After the chine was on - I filled the gap between the chine and the rounded fiberglass bottom with EZ Fillet (that stuff is pretty easy to work with - and takes… Continue

Posted on March 30, 2009 at 6:00am — 7 Comments

Comment Wall (29 comments)

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At 8:31pm on March 16, 2013, Phillip Westendorf said…


Hello to ypu too, good to hear from you.  Trying to get some time in next couple of weeks for some serious Steelheading.  Had a good two days last week on the Manistee.  It would be nice to get some of the Michigan DB Builders together some time.

Phil w.

At 9:46pm on April 27, 2010, Rick Newman said…
Hello Jason and Christine, It was a great pleasure to meet you guys. I really did enjoy visiting with you. Jason, you will get to go fishing again. It sure was fun to give you a bad time and watch the look on your face. Christine, just becuase he built a wooden drift boat doesn't mean he can paint walls, plant a garden, install windows, set tile, fix plumbing or anything else. Also I'm sure that if he does try some of these jobs he will need some more tools to accomplish the tasks!

If I had your email I could send you some pictures directly.

Once again, great to meet you guys. Look forward to seeing you again and reading your posts.

Rick Newman
At 4:25pm on March 4, 2010, AJ DeRosa said…
Cool. Ask her to give me a call.

307 732 BOAT(2628)
At 3:07pm on August 19, 2009, Eric Krause said…
Jason, Thanks for all the pictures and info on your build. I'm building two Don Hill 16' boats and was wondering what size (diam.) carriage bolts you used. The plans call for 1/4" but they look very small in relationship to the rails, are these the same size you used. Thanks again for the great follow through on your build.
At 6:07am on June 22, 2009, Steve Sobba said…
Jason , Thanks for the return information. This is the first time I have finished on a project like this. I agree about having it flat and pre finished ,but also did not know what I wanted when I started last year.. I got in to using System # products and decided to use their products. Clear Coat x 2 sand 150 grit and their spar varnish... unknown coats 2? 3? or more in some circles. Right now I am on hold for 2 weeks minimum for the epoxy to cure? with the 90s plus temperature one would think only a few days. Yes that was a long winter fly by the seat on my pants projest on the passenger seat . Thanks steve
At 8:21pm on March 19, 2009, Rick Newman said…
Jason, I didn't catch that you left a comment, sorry. Yes I found a 2006 16'6" Tatman kit that had never been assembled. The previous owner just brought home it and stored it in a barn. Traded my old Dancer kayak and $750 cash for it. Meranti plywood, UHMW sheet and stainless fittings. Now I need to get the previous boat repaired and sold to afford the epoxy and such. Took the boat trailer from the older boat, removed the winch post and at the Home Depot in Bellingham made a flatbed trailer with two 16' 2 x 6's and two seets of 3/8" plywood. People thought I was crazy, but it worked well.

Will keep people informed on my progress.

Rick Newman
At 8:42pm on March 18, 2009, Craig said…
Hey Jason,
I noticed your identification picture. Salmonid eggs? I used to work as a fisheries/fish squeezer biologist out of college in the late 90's and early 2000's for the US Forest Service. I performed the basic stream survey/snorkel survey stuff...MUCH FUN. Just checking to see if maybe you had done the same?
BTW how is the fishing up your way? Always wanted to give your region a 'looksy'.....'looksy' its a word I promise.....just dont look it up:) I hear good fishing reports from your area but the whole career thing now keeps me from major travel, but I do love to hear stories and reports.
Your project is incredible. Seriously. I plan to pick your brain a little for info and to re-read your blogs. Post pics when you are finished....I am most interested in all comments and resourceful information. Thanks for blogging.
At 1:17pm on March 18, 2009, Craig said…
From the kit of course! When I finish painting my 16' I will have a better idea of how the paint works. Do you think it would be easier to paint the plywood before assembly? Do you think I would run into issues or have to apply another coat at the end?
It looks as though you will done fairly soon, no? Chat with ya soon....
At 12:40pm on March 18, 2009, Craig said…
I am getting close to wrapping up my paint job on my 16 footer. Now that it is almost complete, I am seriously considering building the exact boat you are completing. The 17X52 will work great on our rivers over here and I can make convertible. How long has it taken you thus far? Did you epoxy/varnish everything prior to construction? Looks good...I hope mine turns out that well.
At 5:47am on March 10, 2009, Rick Newman said…
I found an unbuilt kit on Craig's List. The guy bought it and isn't going to build it. So...I will. A little trading, there goes the Dancer kayak and some cash and I will be starting on a boat! The older boat will be reapired when it warms up and sold. Too many surprises, I don't need two more major projects! Three years of kitchen and house remodeling is enough inside work. I am very jealous of your generous work space! What specie of fish eggs is your picture of? I have spent some time using a turkey baster sucking dead eggs from trays at the local hatchery and wondered what they were. Thanks for making me your friend.

Rick Newman.

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